A Truly Magical Place

Last week, my husband and I visited Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Curtis is probably THE most prestigious music conservatory in the US, and maybe the world. It’s been around since the 1920’s, and is located in a beautiful old building on Rittenhouse Square. They train young musicians, singers, composers, and conductors, who will eventually be among the world’s most famous. For example, the members of the Guarneri String Quartet met at Curtis, and they have been on the scene for over 40 years. I’ve been supporting Curtis for a number of years, since I know a woman who trained there with a famous violist.
We attended a student recital, and were regaled with delightful music played in a professional manner. We were just captivated, and it made us smile for the next few days.
No student at Curtis pays for their tuition-supporters like us give money that covers their education. What a wonderful thing, to be able to say that a great musician was helped on their way to fame by your contributions.

No Social Security or Medicare for Me

I guess that makes me a risk-taker. I am currently 63 years old, with just under two years until I become Medicare-eligible. Medicare starts at 65, I can’t draw SS until 66. A couple of years ago, I made the decision to reject both SS and Medicare. I am gainfully employed, and expect to be employed for the foreseeable future. I am VERY fortunate to be married to a man nine years my junior, who has 32 years with his employer, and makes twice what I do. I am covered under his company medical plan, and expect to continue to be. I object to my doctor having to choose treatment for me according to “what Medicare will pay for”. I’m damned if I’ll have some faceless bureaucrat in Washington DC telling my doctor what’s “allowed”.
I’ve already started in a small way, being self-sufficient in health-care. My hubby’s plan has prescription drug coverage, but I do not use it. I take a bunch of prescription medicine for my chronic disease (psoriatic arthritis), and I pay every penny of the cost myself. All my medicines are generic, and I have a great relationship with the Costco pharmacy 6 blocks from my house, so I know I’m getting the best prices. It makes me feel great that my doctor and I, not some insurance company, determine what medicines I take, and how much to prescribe (my doctor writes in quantities of 100, so I get even better pricing).
So my life is free from the worries about having enough money saved for retirement (not retiring!), and how to maximize my Government Dole Payment (Social Security).

Environmentalists are the reason for skyrocketing gasoline prices

High Gas Prices 2012

Primarily due to the fact that environmental groups, through lawsuits and other means of obstruction, have successfully prevented the building of ANY new oil refineries in the US. The last new refinery was built in the 1970’s, and the existing refineries are nearing the end of their useful lives. Oil companies are even being prevented from replacing aging units on land they already own. You are seeing the results of this as old refineries are subject to catastrophic breakdowns, and “routine” maintenance takes refineries off-line for extended periods. Environmental extremists who hate fossil fuels and want to get you out of your automobile and into their government “mass” transit, have made it impossible to bring online new refining capacity, to make use of the increased volume of crude oil being extracted in the United States.
Results? $6.00/gallon gasoline, and domestic fuels being exported, since they can’t be refined here. Thank your local “environmental wacko”.